I KNOW you read the title of this post and could immediately relate. If you can’t relate to the thought of the dreaded school picture, either you never went to school or you never had a child who went to school.
The above collage of school pictures are of yours truly. No, I’m not proud of them. Actually the first one of me in the blue dress is cute. That’s me in kindergarten. But I was scared to death. See, I’m an identical twin. When you’re a small child who is an identical twin, you are literally a part of your twin. When you start school and they tell you that you and your twin sister have to be separated into two separate classes, it can be very scary, as it was for me. For Terri? Not so much. See, she got the ‘sociable’ gene out of the two of us. Me? I didn’t get that gene. I got the shy one. Hence, the look of fear in the first picture.
As the years went by, on school picture day, I got good at smiling and looking relaxed, like I didn’t have a care in the world. But in reality, I despised school picture day with a passion. I never felt like my hair looked right or that I was wearing a ‘cool’ enough outfit, or my glasses were twisted, or I had a snaggle tooth. OR my mom had the clever idea to get my hair cut into that shag style that was so popular in the ’70s. Really? Who even looked good with a shag hairstyle. I don’t care who you are – it’s not cute. Because of the thickness of my hair, my shag style always had a point on the top of my head. Yeah, not good for picture posterity. In the third picture of the above collage, I look like I’m wearing a shag helmet. Not my best look by far.
The above picture is somewhat more bearable as my adult teeth are growing in and I have to say, I was stylin’ in that shirt. But the shag haircut is still there with the pointy head.
As I got older, the feeling of dread on school picture day never went away. Think about it, it really isn’t ‘just a picture’. These are pictures that you know will be saved through the years, probably put into one of those frames that have a space in them for every school year. Then when you grow up and start a family of your own, you’ll get them out and share them with your kids. You’ll have a good laugh and put them back in that dusty old box.
BUT, the dread comes back when your own child starts school and you get the form in your kids’ backpack saying ‘Don’t forget, Monday is school picture day!’
And it starts. ALL. OVER. AGAIN.